Americans often pretend to understand Shakespeare and get his jokes when they don’t. In this production, the actors understand the language, get the jokes and understand how the jokes come from their own lives and not from a distant and assumed superior cultured English empire. This production is totally American. And, more, this production is African American. The tooth-and-claw struggle for economic and social survival is African American. And shady and intellectual turns of language are from African Americans who, as Nikki Giovanni says, don’t so much speak the language and thereby justify it, but who speak THROUGH the language to make themselves seen and understood. This is a story that is about more than plot. As a result of the actors skill and director’s vision, the audience understands the story, the jokes and everything that undergirds it.
This show is hilarious, heart-warming and gut-wrenching. And stylishly, almost excessively, entertaining. Get thee to a viewing place as soon as you can. – Gregory J. Ford, DC Theatre Scene
Much Ado About Nothing
Directed in 2019 by Kenny Leon
Shakespeare in the Park production.
Available through May 24, 2020.